Meet the Team

Our entire staff here at The Blanchard Institute is extremely passionate about the work we do. Everyone brings with them their own unique set of skills and experience, and together, we form an unstoppable team that’s dedicated to helping our patients.

We look forward to being a part of your journey to recovery.

Ward Blanchard

Ward Blanchard, Founder/CEO, MA, MBA, CCS, LCAS

Born and raised on the coast of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Ward’s professional career sprouted from the progressive roots of Southern California nearly 15 years ago. Ward’s behavioral health career was cultivated through working in all facets of the behavioral health treatment industry. Since moving to Charlotte, NC over four years ago, Ward has become one of the most prominent mental health and Substance Use Disorder professionals in the country for his innovative work with clients and their family systems.

Ward founded Blanchard and Associates, LLC over 10 years ago as a private practice focusing on family re-structuring, family case management, and family consulting. In 2017, Ward established The Blanchard Institute, LLC, a dual diagnosis outpatient treatment center that incorporates comprehensive family focused care. Ward and his team approach treatment for behavioral health conditions through a unique family systems model that utilizes multiple evidence-based modalities in their innovative Blanchard family process.

Ward has a Master’s Degree in Psychology—Marriage and Family Therapy and an MBA in Healthcare administration. Specializing in dual diagnosis treatment, Ward obtained his advance addiction counseling education credential through California Association of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC- II). Ward is also a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) and a credentialed Clinical Supervisor (CSS).

In his career that spans across the country, Ward furthered his career while also working alongside some of the world’s most well-known behavioral health centers including The Betty Ford Center, Michael’s House Dual Diagnosis Center, The Ranch Recovery Center, Foundations Recovery Network, and Southern California’s state system.  Ward’s experience includes: interventions, admissions, program design and direction, experiential therapy, long term case management, and business administration and revenue cycle management. His passion is centered on educating individuals, families, and professionals as he has presented extensively at national conferences, hospital systems, continuing medical education events, and public service events. Ward has an altruistic enthusiasm around educating the professional community about family systems, SUDs, dual diagnosis disorders, the opioid epidemic and chronic pain.

Allison Christie, Chief Administrative Officer, MBA, MA, CAI-I

Allison has over 25 years of experience in management, community development and corporate social responsibility.  After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer, she spent over 15 years overseas working as a trusted community engagement advisor in the extractive industry in Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. She joined Blanchard & Associates in April of 2015 as the Office Manager.  She knew immediately that the Behavioral Health field was a perfect match for her skill set and strong commitment to helping individuals and families struggling with substance use and mental health disorders.

Allison was instrumental in the establishment of The Blanchard Institute (TBI) in early 2016 and continues to lead the team as the Chief Administrative Officer. Her favorite part of coming to work each day is the TBI staff who inherently and passionately believe that recovery is possible and demonstrate that philosophy in everything they do. “I learn something personally and professionally from my team on a daily basis and it is an honor to be a part of this mission,” says Allison. Allison holds a Master of International Business Administration from Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California and is a Certified ARISE® Interventionist I (CAI-I).  Allison grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her two sons.

When not working, Allison can be found running, reading, traveling and spending precious time with her family.

George L. Raad, Medical Director, MD

Alan Goodstat, LCSW Chief Operating Officer

Alan Goodstat is from New York and obtained his Master of Social Work from Columbia University in New York. He has 30 years of experience in the Behavioral Healthcare and Addiction field as a Clinician, Clinical Director, Program Director, Administrator/CEO, COO and Chief Compliance Officer for privately held and private equity held companies. His leadership roles have been directly responsible for compliance, revenue cycle management, clinical programming, acquisitions, start-ups and overall operations of an organization’s service offerings and milieu. In addition, he has been a key member of a management team in two transactions which resulted in PE owned organization acquisitions.

Prior to joining The Blanchard Institute, Alan held the position of Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Lakeview Health located in Jacksonville, FL.  During his 18 years at Lakeview Health, the organization grew from a 40-bed facility to a 250-bed, gender specific facility. Alan recently joined The Blanchard Institute as Chief Operating Officer to assist the leadership team in the continued efforts to provide the highest quality of care and expand services throughout the State of North Carolina. 

Judy Goodwin, Director of Admissions

Judy Goodwin brings 24 years of knowledge and experience working as an Admissions Coordinator in the field and is well connected to the community and behavioral health industry.

She has a volunteer history working with the Union County Substance Abuse Task Force, NC MADD, Union County Public Schools and various community organizations.

Judy can often be heard telling others “this is not a job… it is a calling.” Judy is usually the first point of contact for our clients and welcomes the opportunity to help those seeking help.

Samantha Hampson, LCSW, LCAS, CSI, ICAADC – Clinical Director

Samantha Hampson was born and raised in Europe but has lived in the Carolinas for the last 15 years. She has been providing Mental Health and Substance Abuse services in the Carolinas for the last few years. Samantha obtained her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the College of Charleston and her Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina.

Samantha has experience in emergency medical social work, mental health treatment with adolescents, and treating adults in outpatient substance abuse programs. Samantha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate, a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist, and an Internationally Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Samantha’s approach to treatment is helping individuals find hope and motivation for life in recovery.

Samantha believes that involving the individual in their treatment plan is vital in developing investment in recovery and aids in fostering trust between therapist and client.

Ralph G. Meachum, Mdiv, CSAC, CBT, MRT –  Primary Therapist

Ralph G. Meachum, a native of Greensboro, NC, obtained a Master’s of Divinity with a concentration in pastoral care and counseling from Emory University.  He has worked in the Mental Health field for more than a decade with a heavy concentration in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. He is an established Director and Clinician with a proven track record of leadership.  He has demonstrated success in all aspects of a clinical environment with a primary focus on patient care and developing effective family support systems.

Ralph is branded as an engaging leader that utilizes creativity, collaboration and effective communication to drive sustainable change.   Ralph has a passion for providing respectable and professional care to patients while empowering staff members to think outside of the box and provide service with a win/win attitude.

Stacey Surratt, MS, LCAS-A, MT-BC – Primary Therapist

Stacey Surratt is a North Carolina native, and happy to be back in the state.  Stacey completed her Master’s degree in Music Therapy at Radford University and is a nationally Board-Certified Music Therapist.   Stacey has worked clinically in a variety of settings including hospital programs, outpatient treatment facilities, rehab clinics, and in private practice.

Her focus areas have included children and adolescents with developmental and behavioral diagnoses, adult mental health treatment, and outpatient substance abuse treatment.  In addition to music therapy board certification, Stacey is also a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate. 

Stacey works from a relationship-based approach and enjoys incorporating creativity and multi-sensory tools into therapy sessions as a way to fully engage and retain growth from participation in the treatment process.

Catherine Glenn – Assessor

Cat Glenn grew up in Charlotte, NC, and returned after graduating from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY with a Bachelors in Political Science. Cat’s post-graduate studies continued at CPCC where she graduated with two certificate degrees in both Substance Abuse Counseling and Substance Abuse Prevention. 

Cat is currently in her last year of pursuing a masters degree in International Addiction Studies. Cat has dedicated the last four years of her life to studying, preventing and treating addiction. Cat began in the field volunteering with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, then interned at the Center for Prevention services before counseling at a local outpatient facility.  Through her experience, Cat has a gained a wide skill set in all facets of the substance use area, ranging from prevention to harm reduction to treatment.

Cat is currently registered with the North Carolina Substance Abuse Practicing Board for both Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) and Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant (CSAPC) credentials and is working toward full certification.

Megan Faulkner, Executive Assistant/HR Coordinator

Megan Faulkner began working in Public Health in 2003 after earning a Master of Science degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. In both North and South Carolina, she tackled a wide range of community-level health issues ranging from exposure to environmental carcinogens to childhood obesity to suicide prevention.

After several years at home with her three children, Megan joined The Blanchard Institute in 2017 as an Office Administrator. In her current role as Human Resources Coordinator, she enjoys working closely with both the Administrative and Clinical staff.

With their support, she is actively working toward her licensure as a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC).

Shelley WoodAdmissions Coordinator

Shelley Wood is a North Carolina native and Charlotte resident for over 43 years.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from UNC Charlotte. 

Previously in Financial Services, Shelley was excited to shift her focus back to Behavioral Health and joined The Blanchard Institute in August of 2017 as one of our Office Administrators. She then moved into the role of Admissions Coordinator. 

Shelley is often the first line of contact for potential new clients, family members or referral sources, lending understanding and compassion as clients begin their search for the treatment center where they’ll begin their journey to recovery.  


Anthony Simmons – Accountant

Anthony Simmons is from Washington, D.C. He studied Business Administration Accounting at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He proceeded to work for the Federal Government for 18yrs starting at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as a Staff Accountant and ending his career at the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

He moved to Charlotte, NC married his husband and began a new life in the Queen City. He started his new career at Carolinas Healthcare System (Atrium) as an Accountant.

After 4 years there, he joined The Blanchard Institute as the Billing Coordinator and within a short time was promoted to the Accountant for the Institute. In his free time, Anthony enjoys the golf driving range at TopGolf and loves traveling with his husband, Frankie.

Emily Nelson, BS – Recovery Technician

Emily Nelson is from Richmond, Virginia. She joined The Blanchard Institute in November, 2018 after studying at the University of South Carolina where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary studies.

Emily has a passion to help those struggling with the disease of addiction and mental health. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling at Liberty University and working towards becoming a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor. Emily’s passion for this field comes through her own interest in the field, as well as her own journey to recovery.

Emily is a proud Alumna of The Blanchard Institute’s program and now excited to be working as their Recovery Technician and Alumni Coordinator.

Jennifer Quade – Clinical Assistant, MA, LPCA

Jennifer is a native of Virginia and has lived in the Charlotte area for 14 years.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate, National Certified Counselor, and is pursuing licensure as Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist Associate. Jennifer earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University and a Master of Science in Education in Special Education from Old Dominion University. 

Jennifer has gained valuable clinical experience in residential and outpatient settings in substance abuse and eating disorder recovery programs as well as in private practice working with adolescents and adults with mental health disorders. Jennifer is formally trained in therapeutic yoga and utilizes a mindfulness-based approach in her work with clients. 

Jennifer is excited to be a part of the Blanchard team to work collaboratively with clients and their families on a continuum of care as they engage in their recovery process. The most rewarding part of her job is supporting clients through the healing process of recovery and seeing real change and growth in each client over time.

Brittany Bolden – Intern

Brittany Bolden was raised in South Florida and moved to North Carolina to attend college at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degrees in Elementary Education and Psychology. In 2001, she moved to Charlotte full-time, where she has been settled ever since.

Brittany is currently working on her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Capella University.

She works as a certified postpartum doula with DONA when not assisting at the Blanchard Institute during her graduate level internship. Brittany is currently working on her certification to become a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC), which she hopes to complete by 2020. 

Jessica Evans, MSW, LCSWA – Primary Therapist

Jessica has been working in the substance abuse and mental health field since 2014. She has a diverse clinical background, having worked with those suffering from severe and persistent mental illnesses, substance use disorders, eating disorders, and other adult populations including college students. 

Jessica is a North Carolina native and graduated from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University. Jessica recently moved back to North Carolina and is both excited and proud to serve her community.

She utilizes an integrative approach in her practice and believes in direct, non-shaming, collaborative resolution of her clients needs.  

Megan Simon Kekich, Primary Therapist

Megan Simon Kekich is originally from Louisiana. She attended Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Along with pursuing her bachelor’s, she worked in eating behavior/disorder research for three years. Megan then spent two and a half years in Pennsylvania while pursuing her Masters of the Arts in Clinical Psychology at West Chester University.

During her time in Pennsylvania she interned at a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) specific treatment facility. In 2016, Megan moved to Charlotte, NC where she worked as a SUD counselor in a Residential/Outpatient facility. Her focus was primarily in Intensive Outpatient Treatment. She gained experience working with dually diagnosed individuals. Megan also became comfortable with conducting family sessions.

Megan is a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist who believes in partnering with clients and their families in order to improve their overall wellbeing.  

Zach Lee – Utilization Review Specialist

Zach Lee joined the Blanchard Institute in May 2019. A Charlotte native, Zach began his career as an actor working with The Children’s Theater of Charlotte where he brought an interactive workshop focused on substance abuse and dating violence to area high schools.

He relocated to Palm Beach County, Florida in 2006 and earned a Masters of Social Work from Florida Atlantic University. Zach began his career as a clinician in the South Florida area where he eventually became lead therapist for the elder adult program at The Hanley Center at Origins. His comprehensive knowledge of the addiction treatment process, from admission through discharge, and his exposure to the operational protocols of the healthcare industry led him to his current role in utilization review.  

Here, Zach is able to combine his clinical and operational knowledge to advocate for Blanchard clients ensuring that they receive clinically led, evidence-based care. Zach enjoys traveling with his wife, watching Braves games and auditioning for acting roles he never gets cast in.

Annie Morse, BS – Office Administrator

Annie Morse is from Raleigh, North Carolina.  She moved to Charlotte, NC and joined the Blanchard Institute in June, 2019.  Annie studied at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Exercise and Sport Science.

Annie has a passion to help others around her, specifically in the field of Mental Health. At The Blanchard Institute Annie is an Office Administrator with a focus on helping her team maintain the high standards of compliance required of their Joint Commission Accreditation. Annie is also actively working toward clinical licensure as a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor.

Amanda Freels

Amanda Freels is from Morgantown, WV and attended business school at WVU. Upon graduation, Amanda moved to NYC, which is where she found yoga. Yoga was a catalyst for positive change in Amanda’s life and something that she’s passionate about sharing. She attended the 200hr RYT training at Yoga One in Charlotte in 2017.

She currently teaches at Yoga One, Charlotte Yoga and The Blanchard Institute. After teaching yoga in both public studios as well as therapeutic settings, Amanda has seen just how potent the yoga practice can be, and knows that yoga can have a profound impact on mental health, wellness and overall well-being. In 2019 Amanda completed training with Y12SR, a methodology of pairing the wisdom of yoga with the practical 12-step program for addiction recovery and relapse prevention.

Amanda is currently enrolled in a 900hr Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy training course, which teaches how to harness the power of yoga to get present with the body and allow the body to be a vessel for self-awareness and deep healing.

Caylee King, M.Ed., Clinical Assistant

Caylee King was born in Texas and moved to the Carolinas with her family in 2007. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Child & Family Studies at Columbia College and her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Winthrop University.

Caylee is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPC-A) and is also a Nationally Board-Certified Counselor (NCC). She has worked clinically in outpatient treatment facilities with clientele experience focusing on mental health treatment with children and adolescents, adults, couples and families.  She utilizes a variety of techniques and skills drawn from recognized therapeutic modalities including but not limited to Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Reality Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Family Systems Theory.

Caylee believes in a strength based approach that is holistic, integrative and guided by the individual needs of the client to help sort out their challenges and achieve their goals. 

Celeste Hockenberry

Celeste Hockenberry was born and raised in Charleston, SC, but has spent the last ten years in North Carolina. She completed her Master’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Substance Abuse Counseling at Kaplan University.

Celeste has worked in a variety of settings including: outpatient DWI treatment, case management with individuals involved in the criminal justice system, clinical admissions at an inpatient facility and individual mental health and substance abuse therapy in adults and children. Celeste was a Certified Pharmacy Technician for 10 years, which has provided her with advanced knowledge of medications and their impact on the body. She has also spent time volunteering for the Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau and Time Out Youth.

Celeste has a strong passion for trauma-informed treatment and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional through the International Association for Trauma Professionals. Celeste is currently a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist and Licensed Professional Counselor Associate. Celeste believes the therapeutic relationship is vital to a patient’s success and her approach to therapy involves bringing creativity, humor, and hope into sessions to promote change. 

Corrie Thomas – Nutritionist

Corrie earned her Master’s of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition from Eastern Michigan University, and is a Board-Certified Oncology Dietitian.

Her background includes sports and exercise nutrition, consulting for substance abuse facilities, eating disorders, coordinating home nutrition support for tube feeding patients, corporate wellness, diabetes management, and teaching continuing education courses for medical professionals. 

Corrie has worked with people of all ages, from pediatric through geriatric care.  She has a special interest in tailoring nutritional programs to help each client achieve their individual goals.

Nancy Harville, MA, LCAS

Nancy Harville is a graduate of Appalachian State University, with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a MA in Counselor Education.  Nancy’s career began in healthcare, specifically in the field of alcohol and drug treatment. 

Her work experience includes several years of counseling, serving as a senior manager with an Employee Assistance Program company and leading human resources departments. 

She is currently certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and is a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS).

Tracy Sosebee, Clinical Coordinator, MA, LPC, NCC, R-DMT

Tracy Sosebee grew up in Europe and SC but has called Charlotte home for the past 20 years. Tracy completed her Master’s degree in Boston at Lesley University in Expressive Therapies and is a registered Dance/Movement Therapist. T

racy is both a Licensed and Nationally Board Certified Professional Counselor for the past 15 years. She has many years of clinical experience in community mental health centers, local emergency departments, and eating disorder facilities working with adolescents and adults.

Tracy discovered her passion for Admissions early in her career and enjoys meeting and guiding clients through the front end of treatment and advocating for them through the arduous maze of managed insurance coverage.  Tracy utilizes a relational approach to therapy and enjoys assisting community outreach with education.

Andrew Karabinos, MA, LPC, LCAS – Primary Therapist

Andrew (Andy) Karabinos hails from Texas and has been living in North Carolina for the past 17 years. He obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his Masters of Arts in Christian Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Andy has worked in various treatment locales, including the Mecklenburg County Jail system, church organizations and hospital programs.

Andy’s focus areas include working with adults with substance use and trauma histories. Andy is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.

Andy utilizes a person-centered approach to counseling, primarily using DBT and mindfulness-based strategies. He is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families engage in their communities in meaningful ways.

Monique Varnadore

Monique Varnadore is from Brooklyn, New York. She relocated to North Carolina and has lived in the Charlotte area for 9 years. She graduated from Kaplan College where she obtained her Medical Billing and Coding Certification and brings with her over 6 years of Revenue Cycle billing Experience. She is excited to be a part of the Blanchard team.

Gibbs, Our Therapy Dog

Gibbs was born in raised in Southern California, moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014 to continue to cultivate her passion of delivering cuteness, comfort, and adorability to anyone and everyone she encounters. Gibbs was drawn into the field of substance abuse and behavioral health after her own personal recovery from a process addiction with chewing shoes and furniture.

She understands how such an addiction truly is a family disease—impacting the whole family. Gibbs is intelligent, focused, enjoys attention and being pet behind the ears. Gibbs received formal education through The Dog Knowledge Obedience School of Charlotte, NC. She graduated with spectacular mediocracy in obedience but excelled in the subjects of advanced charm, good looks, and tennis-ball catching. She loves riding horses, eating a good hot dog, listening to Dave Matthews Band, watching documentary films, and sharing global warming articles on her Facebook.

Anjali Lagoo

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Elizabeth Sol

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Grace Cruz

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